1981 Mazda 626 Base 2.0 litre from North America


Very pretty, but not much personality


I bought the 1981 626 for its good looks and fairly sporty handling. I had the beautiful aluminum 626 wheels added.

This is the first car I have owned where I actually went shopping for someone to boost the performance. That 2000 engine was a slug. (I think it was rated at 70 hp.)

It handled very well for a sedan of that era, and beyond that motor there were no complaints with it beyond the usual little things the dealer fixed; rattles, trim falling off a bit, etc. I found the finish was not quite up to the Accord that I also looked at.

General Comments:

That weak engine did me in. I got tired of it after a year of sluggish performance and traded it on a 1980 Volvo 242 GT.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 1st June, 2004

25th Jun 2004, 00:23

I must say that I just bought a Mazda 626 for my first and I haven't driven very much, but it is a rather gutless sort of machine. It would probably handle alright if the shocks weren't a little stuffed, but the bloke that wrote the article about them saying how devastated he was about the power, he's not wrong one bit. I mainly try my car out on dirt roads and it spins a little in first, but when I snap second I barely get anything out of it. That's about all I got to say.

17th Aug 2006, 17:17

If you think that the 2.0 version of the 626 was gutless, you shouyld have tried the 1.6 that some tax by engine displacement market were saddled with.

The engine was not only gutless, but extremely rattly as it aged as well.

Handling? Steering too low geared, with too many turns lock to lock and no feel, but considering what was on offer from Datsun and Toyota at the time, passable enough.